Philippines: Gazmin presents budget 2013 Budget to Congress PH Navy to get Italian Maestrale class frigates
The Philippine News Agency reports, that the Department of National Defense (DND) has presented its 2013 budget to congress. “One of the largest procurement plans ever for the armed forces of the Philippines.” say defense officials . Overall the Philippine Navy sees a major boost to its capability and regaining anti-submarine warfare capability.
High on the list are two Italian Meastrale Class Frigates, that PNA reports will cost, “US$ 30 million (P6 billion) each to upgrade the Philippines’ defense capabilities.” the Maestrale’s are modern well armed frigates are seen as a major jump to 21st century technology for a navy who for decades operated some of the oldest naval vessels in the world.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, speaking at the hearing of the House of Representatives’ appropriations committee on the DND’s proposed 2013 P121.6-billion budget, Italian frigates are a ‘key part’ of the DND’s modernization plan.
The 2013 budget is P15 billion higher than this 2012 SND Gazmin told congressmen the budget increase would be used for investments to “beef up territorial defense.”
110 IFV’s for Philippine Army
The plans to aquire 60 infantry fighting vehicles and at least 38 mobile gun systems and two dozen MBT’s has also been revealed for the Philippine Amry’s three mechanized infantry battalions. The Army is looking to aquire a mix of tracked and wheeled AFV’s.
Spanish and Italian as well as French MBT’s have been offered the Leopard 2, AMX30, and, upgraded M60A4 models which have the gun and turret system of the US M1A Abrams tank are under consideration.
Three Squadrons of 12 MBTs are seen as needed to make the Mechanized infrantry units more capable in urabn and rural combat situations where the gun systems on the MBT;s can engage tagets at up 10km away.
Italy already has offered to bundle purchase options for the Frigates with IFV’s and the idea is considered to be an attractive one. However, these may be for the Philippine Marines.